‘They were inseparable. They were just a joy,’ says father of two brothers who drowned in Palatine pond

Romalice Brooks, 6, and Ro’Siah Brooks, 4, were both pronounced dead at area hospitals earlier this week.

SHARE ‘They were inseparable. They were just a joy,’ says father of two brothers who drowned in Palatine pond
Ro’Siah Brooks, 4, (left), and Romalice Brooks, 6, two brothers who drowned Nov. 23 in a pond near their grandmother’s house in Palatine.

Ro’Siah Brooks, 4 (left), and Romalice Brooks, 6, brothers who drowned Wednesday in a pond near their grandmother’s house in Palatine.

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Romalice and Ro’Siah Brooks did everything together.

Only 15 months apart in age, the brothers had just finished making a strawberry-and-chocolate bundt cake in their grandmother’s Palatine kitchen the day before Thanksgiving when they stepped outside and made their way to a nearby pond.

“The pond had ice on it. … They had been to Grandma’s house all the time and had not gone in the water. I guess the ice attracted them. And the ice broke beneath Ro’Siah. [Romalice] called to Mom and he went in to try to save his brother,” the boys’ father, Romalice Brooks, said Friday.

The boys’ mother, Teghan Ivy, hearing her children’s cries, came running out.

“Mom got in, as well. She was halfway to them and the ice broke beneath her,” the father said.

Neighbors were able to use a patio umbrella to reach the mother, said Brooks, who was working at the time.

About 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Palatine police and fire officials responded to calls of a “group of juveniles who fell into a pond” in the 800 block of West Panorama Drive, police have said.

Ro’Siah, 4, and Romalice, 6, were pulled from the pond and were taken to Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, officials said.

Ro’Siah, who was transferred to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, was pronounced dead about 11:45 p.m., authorities said. Romalice, who was transferred to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, died a few hours later.

“They were inseparable. They were just a joy. They were so smart, intelligent. They were funny. They were actors,” Romalice Brooks said of his children.

His older son liked to play with dinosaurs and Legos, and to collect rocks, the father said, while Ro’Siah liked to play with marbles.

The family has set up a GoFundme campaign to pay for funeral expenses.

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